Lead singer and rhythm guitarist Kele Okereke (born on October 13th, 1981 in Liverpool, England) and guitarist Russell Lissack (born on March 11th, 1981 in Chingford, Essex) both grew up in Essex and knew each other from school but met up again at the 1999 Reading Festival where they first discussed forming a band. They recruited Gordon Moakes on bass from an advertisement in the NME and, after a long search, added Matt Tong as a drummer. Bloc Party was born. The post-punk revivalists released their debut single "She's Hearing Voices" on the Trash Aesthetics label in 2004 and after Kele Okereke gave a copy of the track to Steve Lamacq – grabbing his opportunity while playing a concert with Franz Ferdinand –who called it "genius", they were invited to play a session on the Radio 1 DJ's tastemaker show. Bloc Party's spiky guitar and edgy lyrics quickly made them one of the UK's top new bands. Debut album Silent Alarm was voted NME's album of the year in 2005, producing the hit singles "So Here We Are/Positive Tension", which reached number five in the UK, and angular indie anthem "Banquet". Subsequent albums A Weekend in the City (2007) and Intimacy (2008) proved equally popular, with the former soaring to number two in the UK and the latter, which was produced by Jacknife Lee and Paul Epworth, going to number 18 on the Billboard 200 chart. After moving from Wichita to indie label Frenchkiss Records, in 2012 the band dropped their fourth album, Four, which went to number three and became the last LP to feature original members Gordon Moakes and Matt Tong. With new bassist and keyboard player Justin Harris now on board, after a brief hiatus they returned with their fifth album at the start of 2016. Hymns embraced a more electronic sound than previous offerings while also drawing inspiration from rhythm and blues and gospel. The band's sixth album Alpha Games was first teased by Kele Okereke in 2020 and officially announced with the release of single "Traps" in November 2021. Emerging in April 2022, the LP marked the first Bloc Party album with significant contributions from band members Justin Harris and Louise Bartle, who both joined in 2015.